Taylor Teagarden Rumors
It's been another major day of hot stove news, headlined by Josh Hamilton's deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez's forthcoming choice between the Cubs and Tigers. Here are some final items as we hit Friday...
- Michael Bourn's market has become hard to determine, though MLB.com's Richard Justice notes that the Hamilton, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols signings have taught us that top free agents tend to get their paydays, sometimes with surprising teams.
- Nick Swisher has never seen the Red Sox "as a likely landing spot," reports Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Boston is one of several teams -- including the Phillies, Orioles, Indians, Rangers and Mariners -- linked to the free agent slugger this winter.
- Cuban players Dariel Alvarez and shortstop Aledmys Diaz are both officially free agents, tweets Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. Alvarez, a 24-year-old outfielder, and 22-year-old shortstop Diaz were profiled by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez last month.
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli breaks down the contract details of the arbitration-avoiding deals signed by Taylor Teagarden, Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce with the Orioles, plus the details of Mark Reynolds' one-year contract with the Indians.
- The Diamondbacks are more likely to trade Jason Kubel than Justin Upton at this point, opines MLB.com's Steve Gilbert (Twitter link).
- The Rangers may have lost Hamilton today but a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link) that the Rangers could potentially sign Swisher, A.J. Pierzynski and Adam LaRoche to upgrade their lineup.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports looks at how the Phillies and Red Sox are planning to rebound in 2013.
Tonight is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players. Many teams will agree to terms with players before the 11pm CT deadline and we'll keep track of them here. Be sure to check out MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker for complete details:
- The Mariners have avoided arbitration with Josh Kinney, the team announced. It's a one-year deal.
- The Pirates have agreed to terms with Charlie Morton, the team announced. The right-hander missed most of the season following Tommy John surgery. Morton will earn $2MM, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned.
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Adam Rosales, the team announced. They also agreed to sign Daric Barton to a one-year, $1.1MM contract, avoiding arbitration, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). The non-guaranteed deal includes $250K in incentives. Barton had been a non-tender candidate.
- The Orioles announced that they have avoided arbitration with Taylor Teagarden, Steve Pearce, and Alexi Casilla. Casilla's deal is worth $1.7MM with a $3MM option for 2014 ($200K buyout) according to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter).
- The Astros announced that they have avoided arbitration with Phil Humber. It's a one-year deal worth $800K with a $3MM club option for 2014 ($500K buyout), reports the AP via MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter). Houston claimed the right-hander off waivers earlier today.
- The Yankees announced that they avoided arbitration with Jayson Nix, signing the infielder to a Major League deal for 2013.
- The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with second baseman Chris Getz, agreeing to a one-year, Major League contract. Getz will earn $1.05MM in 2013 on a deal that includes up to $150K in performance bonuses, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Luke Hochevar is Kansas City's lone unsigned arbitration eligible player as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Tigers overcame a tense ninth inning to cinch a 2-1 victory in tonight's Game Three, taking a 3-0 lead over the Yankees in the ALCS. Justin Verlander allowed three hits and one run (a ninth-inning Eduardo Nunez homer) over 8 1/3 innings, while Phil Coke allowed two singles but held on to pick up the save. Here's the latest from around baseball...
- The Dodgers should explore moving Matt Kemp from center field in order to protect Kemp's long-term health, writes Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Saxon suggests Carl Crawford could take over in center in 2014, though I'm not sure Crawford would be able to physically handle the position himself given his injury history. Corner outfielders Crawford and Andre Ethier are both locked up through 2017 on contracts worth $187.5MM through 2017 and Adrian Gonzalez is the long-term answer at first base, so there really isn't anywhere for Kemp to move.
- The Giants' waiver claim of left-hander Jose Mijares in August has proven to be a key pickup, writes MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby. Mijares posted a 2.55 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings for the Giants down the stretch.
- The Orioles will probably bring back Taylor Teagarden as backup catcher, opines Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- With Jason Giambi a managerial candidate in Colorado, USA Today's Bob Nightengale lists 10 current players who he believes could easily transition to running a team. Derek Jeter can probably be eliminated from the list given Jeter's recent comments about the chances of him becoming a manager.
The Orioles and Rangers have agreed to a trade that will send Taylor Teagarden to Baltimore for minor league right-hander Randy Henry and a player to be named later. The Orioles have a full 40-man roster and will have to clear room on it for Teagarden.
Teagarden, 27, has a .220/.286/.417 career line with 16 home runs in 392 career big league plate appearances over the course of four seasons. The 2005 third rounder has a .262/.374/.488 line in parts of six minor league seasons. He'll back up starter Matt Wieters.
Henry, 21, has a 3.33 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 75 2/3 minor league innings since the Orioles selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. He has yet to reach Double-A.
While the Orioles had just one catcher -- Wieters -- on their 40-man roster, the Rangers had three of them. Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba were ahead of Teagarden on Texas' depth chart, which made the out-of-options backstop expendable.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun first reported the discussions and added detail, while Jon Heyman of SI.com first reported that the teams had agreed to a deal.
The Orioles and Rangers have had ongoing talks about a deal that would send Taylor Teagarden to Baltimore, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The teams don't have a match yet, though they have discussed specific players.
The Orioles are looking for a solid defender who's comfortable backing Matt Wieters up, Connolly writes. Baltimore isn't interested in Jeff Mathis, who appears to be available now that the Angels have obtained Chris Iannetta, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
The Orioles are showing interest in Jason Varitek, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. They have offers out to some minor league free agents, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Kubatko suggests the team will likely make an acquisition today (Twitter link).
While the Orioles have just one catcher -- Wieters -- on their 40-man roster, the Rangers have three of them. Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba are ahead of Teagarden on Texas' depth chart, making him expendable.
Jhoulys Chacin lowered his ERA to 2.81 today after allowing just one run on three hits in six innings today against the Padres. Chacin picked up his eighth win of the season and improved his case for inclusion on the NL All-Star Team.
Some notes from both divisions out west....
- The Giants are looking to the Rangers as a potential source of catching help, reports CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler. Taylor Teagarden is cited as a possible candidate once Mike Napoli returns from injury and resumes backing up Yorvit Torrealba. Knobler says the Giants' catching search has extended to the minor leagues as the club has sent scouts to look at various Triple-A backstops.
- Rich Harden looked good in his most recent simulated game and the Athletics are looking to send Harden on a rehab assignment in Triple-A next week, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Angels have signed 30 of their 49 draft picks, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The highest pick to sign thus far is fifth-round outfielder Andrew Ray.
- The Angels and Rockies were the only MLB teams in the top 10 of ESPN The Magazine's annual list of the best franchises in sports, reports Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times. The Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers topped the list, while the Angels were fourth and the Rockies eighth. The lowest-ranked baseball team? The Mets, who ranked 117th out of 122 teams in MLB, the NFL, NHL and NBA.
A couple items of note with respect to two Rangers players who could be on the trade block...
- The Rangers, well-stocked at catcher, may have been showcasing backstop Taylor Teagarden for a potential trade partner in the Padres in their Cactus League game on Thursday, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Texas has Yorvit Torrealba, Matt Treanor and Mike Napoli (who will also DH and play first base) on the catching depth chart, so Teagarden will not likely make the big league team out of camp, writes Sullivan. Earlier this spring, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports pegged the Royals as a potential landing spot for Teagarden.
- David Golebiewski of Fangraphs had a look at the five potential destinations for Chris Davis recently put forth by Ben Nicholson-Smith, and the takeaway looks to be that Davis' best shot may be to take over third base or DH duties for a team that is especially weak offensively at either of those positions and can stomach Davis' low OBP and bad glovework. The best fits could be for Davis to take over third from the old platoon of Melvin Mora and Geoff Blum in Arizona, or as a third-base stop gap for Matt Dominguez or Lonnie Chisenhall of the Marlins and Indians, respectively. With Davis' skills limiting him to such a narrow profile, Golebiewski thinks he could probably fetch a modest return, like a decent reliever, in a trade.
Though Kansas City boasts the game's best farm system, they don't have a clear-cut catcher of the future now that the powerful Wil Myers has moved to the outfield. Salvador Perez, a 20-year-old backstop who placed 17th among Baseball America's preseason list of top Royals prospects, hasn't played above Class A, so the Royals are looking elsewhere for catchers.
As Rosenthal notes, the Rangers and Nationals have a number of catchers and could be potential trading partners for Kansas City. The Royals have had interest in Taylor Teagarden before, according to Rosenthal, and since the Rangers already have Yorvit Torrealba, Matt Treanor and Mike Napoli at the Major League level, it would not be a surprise to see them listen to offers for Teagarden.
Meanwhile, the Nationals have a surplus of catchers and are open to dealing one of them. The Nats have Ivan Rodriguez, Jesus Flores, Wilson Ramos, and Derek Norris and would consider trading catching for pitching.
The Padres and Astros are among the other teams that could have interest in trading for a catcher this spring.
Here are some items of note from clubs out on the West Coast ...
- The Dodgers don't yet have a plan for right-hander Vicente Padilla, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Padilla, last year's Opening Day starter, could (again) start, close or be a long-reliever, depending on injuries. Padilla's base salary reflects that, Hernandez writes. His base salary is for $2MM, but he can earn an additional $8MM in incentives for starting or $6.8MM for relieving.
- The Rangers once again are well-stocked with catchers, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, but this year, as opposed to previous years, they have a clear-cut starter in Yorvit Torrealba. Still, they have three other useful backstops in Matt Treanor, Mike Napoli and Taylor Teagarden, but because Treanor has a Major League deal and Napoli is a strong hitter and versatile defender, Teagarden, who still has minor league options, appears to be the odd man out.
- The Diamondbacks are experimenting with finding some more at-bats this spring for roster hopeful Micah Owings, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Owings, a right-handed pitcher, is in camp on a minor league deal and is vying for the long-relief job out of the bullpen, but he could improve his chances of breaking camp with the club because he can be used as a pinch-hitter and perhaps even as a first baseman, on occasion.
- Padres right-hander Dustin Moseley, who signed a Major League deal with San Diego in December, will pitch out of the bullpen if he doesn't crack the starting rotation, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Generally regarded as a swing man, Moseley chose the Friars over a handful of other suitors for the chance to win a starting job.
Jose Molina is the Rangers' "No.1 target" in the free agent catching market, reports Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Molina and Rod Barajas each turned down minor-league deals from Texas, with Wilson saying that Molina "isn't in a hurry to sign until some other catchers set the early-spring market."
Molina could also be holding out for a situation where he would have a better chance at a steady role, given that he would be one of seven catchers in the Rangers camp. Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are the favorites to win or share the starting job, but Saltalamacchia's September shoulder surgery has left Texas looking for a veteran backstop in case their young star isn't ready for Opening Day. Wilson points out that Toby Hall (another experienced catcher signed to a minor-league deal by Texas last month) and Molina share the same agent.
Molina .217/.292/.268 in 155 plate appearances for the Yankees last season. He has a career OPS of .609 in 10 major league seasons.